Hydration Blog

​Rise above the temperature: How to train WITH the heat, not against it

Hello again sunshine! Long days! Early mornings! And...heat stroke?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of summer training without taking some time to consider the adjustment period your body needs to the heat. The hot days can sneak up on us, and the truth is…running/cycling in the heat takes acclimating.

Have you ever been out for a HOT run at the beginning of the summer and not felt your “regular self” in terms of energy supplies? Welcome to the club! Thankfully, there’s a simple breakdown for that: When the sun heats up, our skin heats up with it. When our outer body is hot, our core temperature also rises, and that’s when (if not properly training and acclimated), we can run into trouble.

When it comes to physical exertion, an overheated core can lead to added stress to the system. This can result in decreased overall energy and decreased muscle function – sound familiar? (No, it’s not in your head!)

Signs of heat-related dehydration can include: dizziness, muscle cramping, headaches and increased heart rate. Luckily, there are some easy ways to avoid these heat-inducing downers while you’re adjusting to the new temperatures:

1. Up your pre-hydration

Ultimately, hydrating helps to deliver oxygen to your muscles, which allows them to breathe and function properly. As the temperatures rise, pay close attention to your fluid consumption (drink 2 glasses vs. 1 before your hot workout), because a properly hydrated body regulates core temperature with more ease than a dehydrated one. 

2. Slow it down

Similar to training for a certain pace, you start slow and work your way up. Heat training is not totally dissimilar. When temperatures start to rise into and beyond the 70s, take a week or two to slow down and work WITH the heat rather than against it. Try reducing your effort by 15-20% (example: reduce from 7:30/mile pace to 8:30-9:00/mile pace), and then begin to build it back up comfortably. 

3. Reduce mileage

Don’t panic, this is only temporary! Try not to plan your longest workout of the season for the start of the hot summer days. Take a week or two to maintain your endurance training without adding extra miles to your schedule. Consider reducing overall mileage by around 10% of your average during this time period. Long term summer success will result from acclimation and eventual comfort to the changing elements. 

4. Plan your workout hydration

If you’re planning to be out in the heat for extended periods of time, make sure to know where your fluids are coming from. Whether that means carrying a hydration pack, or planning a route with regular drinking fountains, find the solution that ensures hydration stops along the way!

Now get out there and make the best of the longest days of the year!


POSTED IN Hydration, Outdoor, Run

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